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Package Consolidation: What It Is and How It Can Help

Have you ever ordered multiple items and worried about shipping costs? Package consolidation is the process of packaging up multiple small items into one package to reduce shipping costs and improve efficiency. So, if you’re shopping internationally, you don’t need to worry about spending extra money or the price creeping up. 

What is package consolidation, and how does the process work? Package consolidation works by multiple items arriving at a destination before they’re repackaged into the same parcel. This large package will then be sent to the final destination with all the individual items inside. When it’s received, the products inside can be sent on as needed. 

People use package consolidation for many reasons. It can lower shipping costs, provide environmental benefits, and offer a more efficient delivery experience. For both individual shoppers and businesses, package consolidation has lots of advantages, and many services offer this option to streamline the delivery process. 

In this article, we’ll explore package consolidation in more detail, looking at its benefits, costs, popular services, and more. We’ll uncover some considerations to keep in mind and discover some great tips for the best process possible. Are you ready to find out more? 


How Does Package Consolidation Work? 

Package consolidation works by packaging up single, smaller items and repackaging them together to create a bigger parcel. The process is as follows:

  1. The Packages Arrive 

The first step of the process is the arrival of the individual parcels at a facility. This place is usually a warehouse, and the packages will arrive one by one, depending on where they come from. The package consolidation service will store each of the parcels as they arrive, waiting for all of them to be delivered before the repackaging process begins. 

  1. Quality Check and Sorting 

Once all the packages arrive at the warehouse or the consolidation hub, they are opened and inspected. At this point, a quality check is crucial to ensure that all the items are suitable for sending to the final point.

  1. Combining the Packages 

Once the quality check has taken place, the individual packages are sorted into sections, and the packages are combined into one box or parcel, depending on what they are. This part of the process must be strategic, and space must be considered. Furthermore, during transit, a lot of movement takes place, so extra protection and padding are sometimes required. 

Once the packages are combined into one parcel, an individual package label is made. Each item still keeps its original label, but the new one is used for the customers to track it as it begins its shipping journey. 

  1. Shipping with the Selected Carrier 

A customer will generally inform a package consolidation company about their choice of shipping. Usually, customers will receive a notification that their parcel has been dispatched, and they can begin to track its process. A lot of the time, customers will receive real-time updates, and everyone is in the loop regarding the progress of the package’s shipping. 

  1. Arrival at Destination 

When the shipping process is complete, the package will arrive at a local distribution center to be sent out via a courier or it’ll arrive straight at the customer’s door. 

This streamlined process is designed to improve the delivery experience for customers and provide an efficient service with many benefits. 

Package delivery

The Benefits of Package Consolidation 

Package consolidation offers lots of benefits to customers, which is why many package forwarding services offer it. Here are some benefits:

Cost Savings 

Does package consolidation make shipping cheaper? Yes, one of the main benefits of package consolidation is the cost savings. If customers are shopping internationally, they might expect to pay a high fee if they’re buying multiple items. By putting the individual packages together, you won’t need to pay for each item to be shipped on its own. Instead, you can just pay for the one item and, despite it being heavier, you’ll save money on delivery overall. 

Businesses will also benefit from the cost savings. They save money on packaging materials and supplies, as they don’t need as much. 

Faster Delivery Times 

With only one parcel to ship and deliver, you can also expect a faster delivery. There are fewer packages to handle, which often makes the process more efficient. Furthermore, the items will all arrive at the same time, so you don’t need to worry about waiting on specific delayed items. 

Environmental Benefits 

With fewer items being delivered and transported, less fuel and greenhouse emissions are released. If the packages are all put together, there’s less need for multiple delivery trips, lowering the carbon footprint. 

Easier Tracking 

With fewer parcels to ship, it’s easier to track the parcels and their progress. The tracking process is also more efficient, as there’s only one to think about as opposed to multiple. This just makes the process a lot more streamlined and helps customers or stakeholders remain informed. 

These benefits highlight how strategic the process actually is, the cost savings, and how well it can work for both businesses and customers. 

Package delivery

Costs and Fees Associated with Package Consolidation 

Package consolidation is a good way to save money on shipping. However, there are some added costs to be aware of. Here are some examples:

Service Charges 

Some companies require a service charge for the package consolidation process, which can range from $2-$15, depending on the company. You might also need to pay an added handling fee, which is usually a similar price. This depends on the specific company you opt for, so it’s worth doing some research before you make your decision on your selected one. 

Storage Fees 

In order for all the packages to be combined into one, they all need to arrive at the selected warehouse. However, as they might all arrive at different times, some packages need to be stored in a warehouse, and this sometimes requires a fee. Many companies allow a certain amount of storage fee-free, but once the time is up, you’ll usually be charged by the day. 

Shipping Costs 

Despite the lower shipping costs being a significant benefit of package consolidation, there are still costs involved. Generally, shipping costs are determined by the dimensions and weight of a package. So, if your parcel is heavier, you should expect to pay a higher amount. For example, if you’re using Atvido and your parcel is 5kg, the delivery price ranges from £46- £73 if you’re having items shipped to America from the UK. 

Each service charges a different price, and really, it all comes down to the dimensions of your package. Furthermore, it depends on the location of where your items are being shipped to and the method of transport. For example, some items are shipped by air and some by sea. 

Extra Services 

In some cases, you might decide to pay for extra services. Some companies offer extra protection and padding, which you might decide to opt for if you’re having a fragile item shipped to you. This usually comes at an added price, as it costs companies extra money for materials. 

Duties and Taxes

There might be an added charge for duties and taxes, depending on where you live. To work this out, you’ll need to work out a certain percentage of what the actual value of your items is. So, it really varies based on your location and your actual item. 

By understanding that there are often added costs involved, you won’t experience any surprises when it comes to the payment. The cost depends on whether you opt for local or international package consolidation, the dimensions of your package, the type of shipping, and the service provider. 

Delivered package

Comparing Local and International Package Consolidation 

As a customer, you can use package consolidation services for local or international shipping—it just depends on where you’re shopping! There are many similarities and differences between local and international shipping services, and plenty of factors to consider, like the cost and delivery time. 

Here is a table to compare the two:

Element of the Process Local Consolidation International Consolidation 
Shipping costs Generally lower costs due to shorter distances and no international shipping. Usually higher due to longer distances and more expensive modes of transport. 
Delivery times Faster delivery times because of the shorter distances. Range from 3-20 days due to longer distances, customs, and more transport requirements. 
Handling and additional fees Less additional fees.More handling and other additional fees.
Insurance Basic insurance is an option, but there’s less of a need for it. Insurance is encouraged due to the higher risk of loss or damage during shipping. 
Packaging requirements Standard packaging as there’s less risk of damage during shipping. Packaging needs to meet international standards and be robust to protect items from damage during transit. 
Returns or refunds Usually a simple process that isn’t too time-consuming. Due to the borders, it can take longer and be more complex. 
Available products More options with fewer restrictions. Certain items might be restricted to international locations. 

These differences are definitely worth considering! Of course, there are plenty of other considerations, too, but opting for either a local or international service can alter your customer experience. 

What to Consider Before Using Package Consolidation Services 

Are you considering using a package consolidation service? There are some aspects to consider before you go through with it. Here are some ideas:

Weight and Size Restrictions 

Many companies have restrictions on the weight and size of packages. This refers to the individual items, as you might not be able to package them together if they’re too heavy. Take some time to check any restrictions or limits before you opt for a service.

Prohibited Items 

In some places, there are items that are prohibited like flammable items or hazardous materials. So, make sure you do your research! 

Customs Regulations and Duties 

Considering customs regulations and duties is vital for international shipping. Countries have different policies so it’s important to check. This might also increase the price of the shipment, as well as the accessibility of your items. 

Insurance Options 

Insurance is there to protect you if your items are damaged or lost during transit. It depends on what items you’re shipping, but you might want higher coverage than just the basic option. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that companies will have different options, so look around before you choose one. 

Storage Fees and Consolidation Times 

Some companies hold items free of charge for a certain amount of time in their warehouse. Once the free period is over, you’ll be charged for each day the items are there. Companies will vary in price, so once again, it’s really important to look around at your options. 

Consolidation times will also differ from company to company, so you’ll need to consider your personal needs and your timeline. 

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision about the best package consolidation service for you. For the best deals and prices, opting for popular, well-known services with good reviews is always a good idea. 

Package sign off

Popular Package Consolidation Services 

There are plenty of package consolidation services that are well-known globally. Using a popular one just gives you some extra reassurance! Here are the top five most popular options: 

  1. Atvido 

Atvido is a very popular parcel forwarding company that offers a package consolidation service. The company works by giving international shoppers a UK or DE forwarding address so they can receive parcels from all over the world. Once the parcels reach Atvido’s facility, the experts there will remove the items and repackage the ones you want consolidated, helping you save up to 80% on shipping costs. 

The pricing of the shipping at Atvido differs depending on the size and weight of your item. Plus, the destination comes into play, too. For example, if your parcel weighs 5kg and has dimensions of 15x10x5cm, and is getting delivered from the UK to the US, you can expect to pay between £46 and £73, depending on the shipping company you choose. That’s where package consolidation comes in to help you save money. 

Atvido has excellent reviews on Trustpilot, with the majority of customers giving the service five stars. Customers express their love towards the pricing, with one person stating that the “custom duties coverage is a significant advantage as it makes shipping cheaper.” 

  1. Shipito 

Shipito is another well-known package forwarding service that offers customers package consolidation. The company operates in the US, giving international shoppers a US email address for them to purchase region-specific items.

The price of consolidation for customers with a free account is $5.50 per package and $3.25 if you have a premium membership. You can also pay $5 for extra packing materials to protect your parcels and $2 if you’re a member. 

If you’re thinking of using a package consolidation service, Shipito has some great reviews on Trustpilot, with customers commenting on their happiness surrounding saving money with the company. One review states, “Shipito has forwarded more than 70 packages to me (which were consolidated) in this time.”

  1. Forward2Me 

Forward2Me is another parcel forwarding service that offers a combine and repack service. It works by giving international customers a forwarding address to one of its warehouses so that the items can be reshipped straight to their door. The service is designed to make the package smaller and combine it into one to make the process cheaper. 

The company states that as long as the package arrives within the 30-day free period for storing the packages, customers can pay £2+VAT to have their packages combined. Doing this reduces the need for shipping on multiple items and makes the package smaller. If your package is 5kg, you’re shipping from the USA to the UK and the dimensions are 15x10x5cm, shipping will cost $60-$77, depending on the shipping company you opt for. 

Forward2Me has many online reviews that express customers’ satisfaction with the company’s customer service. Many reviews state that customers were advised to combine their packages, saving them money and ensuring an efficient delivery. One review states, “So easy to ship! So fast and easy, and how awesome that you get to choose with the company of your choice!” 

  1. Ship7

Ship7 is another package forwarding service that offers consolidation to help customers save money on shipping. The company offers many other services, such as real-time order tracking, freight options for oversized items, and multi-carrier options. 

Ship7 offers a free package consolidation service to help customers save money by combining all of their parcels. The site’s shipping calculator can help you work out how much your parcel will cost, depending on its size and the shipping company you choose. 

The company’s reviews on Trustpilot are positive, as customers express their happiness about the customer service and cost savings. Ship7 ships items internationally and locally, with one customer stating, “They ship both international and domestic, which is great for my business.”

  1. Stackry 

Another company well-known among international shoppers is Stackry, a package forwarding service. Stackry ships products to the UK from the US, consolidating parcels into one box to save customers money on shipping. 

With Stackry, you don’t need to pay any US tax, so you can save up to 7.25%. You can save money through the package consolidation service they provide, which is ideal if you’re ordering international products. 

On Trustpilot, many positive reviews rave about Stackry’s good customer service and consolidation service. One customer states, “If you need a special consolidation of your items due to size, fragility etc, Stackry will support you and make your final package a joy to receive.”  

These popular package consolidation services have been tried and tested by many customers who have expressed their satisfaction with the option and the money it saves them. By following tips for the most efficient service possible and opting for popular companies, you can rest assured that you’ll save money while enjoying an efficient service. 

Packaging goods

Tips For Effective Package Consolidation 

If you want to experience and enjoy the most effective package consolidation process possible, there are some tips you can take on board. Here are some tips:

Time Your Shipments 

If you want to consolidate multiple items, it’s a good idea to try to time your shipments as best as possible. Time them so that they all arrive at the facility at similar times, as you can ensure they all go into the same larger parcel. Furthermore, this will also ensure you don’t exceed the free storage time period.

Optimal Packaging Practices 

Another great tip is to optimize packaging practices as best as possible to make sufficient space for multiple items. Businesses should try to remove excess and unnecessary packaging materials to make more space. This will also reduce the weight of the parcel and save more money. Durable packaging will also keep items safe from damage during transit. 

Communicate With the Consolidation Service 

If you’re a customer and you have any specific shipping requirements, communicate this to the consolidation service. You can also use the shipment tracking services to watch the progress of your parcel. If you notice any issues or you’re experiencing delays, get in touch for an efficient and hands-on approach. 

Manage Delivery Time Expectations 

Try to be as realistic as possible with your delivery time expectations to reduce the potential for disappointment. International shipping times can vary due to unforeseen circumstances like delays. Keep in mind that the consolidation process actually adds a step, so your package might take a bit longer to arrive at your door. 

By following these tips, you’ll optimize your shipping experience and get the most out of it. Keep these ideas in mind and make the most out of the effective service. Plus, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the company or service of your choice. 

Fragile package

Frequently Asked Questions About Package Consolidation Services 

Are There Any Restrictions on the Types of Items that can be Consolidated? 

Yes, certain items have restrictions and can’t be consolidated by a company. Items that are flammable, certain batteries and prohibited goods are usually restricted, so make sure to check a company’s policy. 

How Long Does It Typically Take to Consolidate Packages? 

Generally, it takes a service 1-2 business days to consolidate packages. However, this time can differ depending on circumstances such as demand, volume, and the amount of individual packages. 

Are There Any Risks Associated with Package Consolidation? 

Yes, package consolidation can involve potential delays, loss, or damage during transit. Because of this, it’s a good idea to opt for extra packaging or protection and choose a service with a good reputation. 

Can I Consolidate Packages From Multiple Retailers or Sources into One Shipment? 

Yes, a great advantage of package consolidation is that you can combine packages from different sources into one shipment. This helps to lower shipping costs and speeds up the delivery process. 

What Happens if a Package is Lost or Damaged During the Consolidation Process? 

If your package is lost or damaged during the consolidation process, you’ll need to contact the company that provided the service and look into the insurance policy. 

Can I Track the Progress of my Packages During Consolidation? 

Yes, you can usually track the progress of your packages during consolidation, as you’ll receive a notification when each item arrives at the facility. Once the consolidation process is complete, you can also track the shipment of your parcel.